Posted by Trisha Davis
Since I was a little girl, I have loved the idea of leadership. To me, leadership meant inspiring people to find their strengths and help them become who they were called to be. I wanted to be the CEO of every person I encountered.
Chief Encouraging Officer
What if I had the chance to be your CEO today by asking you this one simple question: “What are your strengths?” Does your response come quickly with confidence or are you more tentative and unsure? You’ve heard it said that your greatest strength is often your greatest weakness but being unaware of your strengths weakens your ability to lead altogether.
When we fail to understand our strengths, we find ourselves leading in areas of ministry out of obligation, rather than our passions and calling. When we lead out of obligation we become depleted emotionally, spiritually and physically. We take on the posture that we “have to” rather than we “get to” do ministry.
Here are three ways to cultivate and grow in your strengths in order to grow and thrive in ministry.
Discover who you are.
Discovering who you are begins when you habitually ask questions. Sometimes the most basic questions can pull you out of stagnation and into becoming the passionate leader you desire to be. Here are just a few to start with:
What do you enjoy doing?
What do you feel passionate about?
What gifts are those serving along side you affirming you in?
Take the time to do a spiritual gift assessment and leadership profile tests such as Strengths Finders. Maybe you’ve taken these in the past but over time your passions and giftings can shift and change. When self-discovery becomes a habitual part of your life, the overflow is becoming a healthy leader emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Cultivate a humble heart by being accountable.
James 3:13 says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”
Your strengths come with weaknesses and blind spots. Growing in your strengths means recognizing your weaknesses. Place godly people around you who are honest enough to see your flaws but love you enough to help you find solutions to becoming a better you.
I have a dear friend named Eve whose top strength is to lead strategically. She sees a problem, calls out the problem and is the first to roll her sleeves up to find a solution. She is my go to person when I want honest and loving constructive criticism.
I asked Eve to come to one of my speaking engagements a few years back to critique the way I speak. She lovingly shared with me all the positives and affirmed me that speaking was my sweet spot. But then the time came… the part where your hands get sweaty and you question yourself as to whether or not you put deodorant on…for the constructive criticism part.
She was bold and honest yet gentle with me about my flaws. Her critique informed me about weaknesses I was completely unaware of, as well as, ways to become stronger in my strengths. I’m a better communicator because of her. If you want to grow in your strengths you have to be willing to have sweaty pits and a humble heart.
Choose to be comfortable in your own leadership skin.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
My top five spiritual gifts are faith, hospitality, mercy, encouragement and leadership. In other words I’m a bleeding heart who likes to lead. Lord help us all! But this is ME and over the past twenty years of ministry I’ve learned to embrace I’ll never be a type A leader. Instead, I’m confident in the type of CEO I’m called to be in this hurting world… perfectly created anew by God to “do good things”.
God has perfectly positioned YOU to be exactly who he created YOU to be!! Discover who you are and the strengths He has given you. Be humble and brave as you to step into your leadership path to do the good things he planned for you to do long ago!
Do you feel like you have discovered who you are and how you are wired? In what areas do you need to grow in your strengths? Are there people around you to help you grow into the person God has created you to be?